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The Story Girl

The Opening Of The Blue Chest
November wakened from her dream of May in a bad temper. The day after the picnic a
cold autumn rain set in, and we got up to find our world a drenched, wind-writhen place,
with sodden fields and dour skies. The rain was weeping on the roof as if it were
shedding the tears of old sorrows; the willow by the gate tossed its gaunt branches wildly,
as if it were some passionate, spectral thing, wringing its fleshless hands in agony; the
orchard was haggard and uncomely; nothing seemed the same except the staunch, trusty,
old spruces.
It was Friday, but we were not to begin going to school again until Monday, so we spent
the day in the granary, sorting apples and hearing tales. In the evening the rain ceased, the
wind came around to the northwest, freezing suddenly, and a chilly yellow sunset beyond
the dark hills seemed to herald a brighter morrow.
Felicity and the Story Girl and I walked down to the post-office for the mail, along a road
where fallen leaves went eddying fitfully up and down before us in weird, uncanny
dances of their own. The evening was full of eerie sounds--the creaking of fir boughs, the
whistle of the wind in the tree-tops, the vibrations of strips of dried bark on the rail
fences. But we carried summer and sunshine in our hearts, and the bleak unloveliness of
the outer world only intensified our inner radiance.
Felicity wore her new velvet hood, with a coquettish little collar of white fur about her
neck. Her golden curls framed her lovely face, and the wind stung the pink of her cheeks
to crimson. On my left hand walked the Story Girl, her red cap on her jaunty brown head.
She scattered her words along the path like the pearls and diamonds of the old fairy tale. I
remember that I strutted along quite insufferably, for we met several of the Carlisle boys
and I felt that I was an exceptionally lucky fellow to have such beauty on one side and
such charm on the other.
There was one of father's thin letters for Felix, a fat, foreign letter for the Story Girl,
addressed in her father's minute handwriting, a drop letter for Cecily from some school
friend, with "In Haste" written across the corner, and a letter for Aunt Janet, postmarked
Montreal.
"I can't think who that is from," said Felicity. "Nobody in Montreal ever writes to mother.
Cecily's letter is from Em Frewen. She always puts 'In Haste' on her letters, no matter
what is in them."
When we reached home, Aunt Janet opened and read her Montreal letter. Then she laid it
down and looked about her in astonishment.
"Well, did ever any mortal!" she said.
"What in the world is the matter?" said Uncle Alec.
 
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